Ho. Ly. Mo. Ly.
Last night Huxley and I had an encounter with one big-a cat. I’m still a little freaked. Huxley, on the other hand, is fine. Apparently he’s quite the little adrenaline junky. Or he has a death wish. Either way, I’m still freaked.
We went outside for a little stretch/restroom break at about dark. I was downloading apps on the iPad, relaxing on the porch bench, while Hux sniffed around and chewed on leaves. He’s been exploring his adventurous side lately and wandering further and further from mama’s watchful eyes. Anyone else smell trouble in the air?!
I see him go around the corner, and as I round it calling his name I see him squaring off against some mysterious animal. Yikes!
Now keep in mind that it’s just dark enough to prevent me from being able to see much, mostly just an outline. And it would also be helpful to know that if I were to see this cat again in a lineup it would be hard for me to point him out again with 100% certainty. But there are a few things I do know…
1) it was hissing
2) it had a pretty long tail
3) the tail wasn’t excessively hairy, and it had the same diameter at the top as at the bottom
4) it moved with catlike agility, and crouched in the grass like a cat
5) it was HUGE! And I don’t just mean comparatively to Hux, I mean compared to a normal housecat. And I had a direct comparison because the creepy cat from next door showed up too. HUGE I say!
As I assessed the situation, I definitely had some concerns. None of the neighbors were home, I wasn’t wearing shoes, it was dark, I didn’t know if this mystery animal was wild or not, and Huxley was completely ignoring me. All that training down the drain when it matters most. Go figure.
Huxley kept creeping closer to the mystery animal, and I was afraid he was about to become someone’s dinner right in front of my eyes. No bueno. All I could think of to do was turn on the water hose and start spraying water. I thought maybe it would distract Hux long enough for me to grab him, or that I could use it to defend myself against the wild beast in the event of an attack. It turned out to be useful for the first reason. Whew! I grabbed Hux and we dashed inside to safety. Scary right?!
So after talking to my husband, dad, and brother, I’ve decided that it could have been one of 3 things. (*I feel compelled to say that the 3 aforementioned men in my life don’t endorse any of these options. They say it was just one big-a housecat.) And although I am fully aware that it is rare to find these animals in this area of Texas, I don’t see any harm in presenting the choices to you the people…so feel free to weigh in with your vote. Also, I’m trying trying to incite a riot. So keep calm everyone.
Option #1: The Mountain Lion
*starts hunting right around dusk
*solitary and shy (would most likely run away from a human)
*slender and agile
*vocalize hisses and growls
Option #2: The Ocelot
*hunt small animals
*very territorial & solitary
Option #3: The Jaguarundi
*short legs, long body, long tail
*eat small animals
*solitary and shy
*wide range of vocalizations
*hides well in brush
No option is a good option. Unless you want to go with the morbidly obese house cat option that my fav boys subscribe to. But until this issue is resolved, there will be a few changes made around the Thompson household. Huxley will get to know his leash on a much friendlier level, and I will carry 2 large sticks around the yard so that I can smack them together to ward off big cats. Maybe it will scare off the creepy cats from next door too. Finally, Chris will now be required to participate in all after dark restroom breaks.
So that’s where we’re at. And hopefully that’s where we’ll stay…I don’t want anymore strange encounters happening in my yard.
Oh, and about Huxley having a death wish…in the past few days he has tried to swallow a baby aspirin, jumped off a curb with his leash on, tried to take up smoking (he always wants to eat the cigarette butts we find on our walks), and then he faced off against an animal at least 10 times his size. If that doesn’t mean he’s living on the edge then I don’t know what would.
My plan for the next few days is to KEEP CALM & WATCH OUT!!!